Ten man Glenavon earned a superb point after a 1-1 draw with champions Crusaders at Seaview on Friday night.
Eoin Bradley gave Gary Hamilton’s side the lead, but had his night spoiled whe he saw red with eight minutes to go with the game all square.
However, the Lurgan Blues held out for a point despite a late surge by the home side.
The Crues should have taken the lead on four minutes when a cross from Billy Joe Burns was allowed to drift through to Jordan Owens but he failed to connect from a yard out. Then Burns hit a dipping half volley straight at Jonny Tuffey.
The pressure continued as Paul Heatley had a shot blocked by Elebert. The Crues came even closer with Michael Carvill smashing a shot off the bar and not long after a header from Declan Caddell was cleared off the line by Kevin Braniff.
Glenavon weathered the storm but they were not making much ground behind the home defence relying with counter attacks.
Tuffey did well to get down and keep out a strong shot from Colin Coates - how important that was as Glenavon then hit the home side with a sucker punch on 28 minutes. Braniff held up the ball before slipping a pass inside to Bradley who was in the clear and his shot went in off Caddell. Goal 18 this season for the Glenavon striker.
That goal might have come against the run of play, but it certainly halted the grip the Crues had on the game as Glenavon began to get more joy in the final third.
An early test for Tuffey in the second half saw him hold onto a shot from Matthew Snoddy as the Crues again set about pushing hard for the equaliser.
The visitors were defending well but the pressure told on 68 minutes with Owens getting on the end of Carvill’s cross. The ball hit the underside of the bar but the goal was awarded when the linesman flag went up to signal it had crossed the line.
It was game on now with Glenavon still in it but their hopes took a blow on 82 minutes with Eoin Bradley sent off after getting in a tussle with Coates who was given a yellow.
Glenavon did well to cope with the strong surge from the home side and had a lucky escape when Carvill’s header beat Tuffey but shaved the post.
Glenavon: Tuffey, Dillon, Kilmartin, Cooper, Bradley, Hall, Sykes, McGrory, Braniff, Kearns, Elebert.
Subs: Lindsay, Patton, O’Brien, Burns, Marron.